Furious

paris
French Policeman Ahmed Merabet moments before he was murdered by terrorists on January 7, 2015 in Paris.

Today, I am furious.  I am furious, because I just watched a brother die.  He was a man I’ve never met, living in a country I’ve never seen, speaking a language I have never spoken, but he was a brother none the less.  He stood on the front line, the one cloaked in blue, and gave his life in defense of others.  He was killed because he represented that which is good.  The world feels his loss.  Some will say that he was killed because of his uniform.  It’s understandable to think, especially with so many cell phone warriors standing by unscathed while he died. It was so much more than a tin shield on his chest that drew the ire of evil terrorists, though.  He was murdered, executed really, because he represented qualities that the enemy cannot understand.  Qualities like civility, mercy, equality, and order.  He possessed a depth of character that showed bravery, courage, and selflessness.  He represented all the enemy hates about Western society.  He stood a symbol of democratic freedom, an enforcer of laws chosen by the men and women that those laws govern.  He wasn’t murdered for who he was.  He was killed for so much more than that.  He was killed for what he represented.

I am furious because of the narrative some have tried to ascribe to him, too.  I’ve read comment after comment on social media claiming he surrendered.  That is inexcusable.  To me, the video is clear.  He took on three armored gunman armed with long guns, and he lost.  Nevertheless, he tried.  He gave his life to the good fight, ensuring that a legacy of good over evil lives on.  He was and remains a hero as much as any man who ever gave his life so that others might live.  He may have lost the battle, but the war is far from over.  It will go on.  Battles will be won and lost, but ultimately good will prevail.  I have to believe that.

I am furious because the attitude in my country has returned to the “It can’t happen here” foolishness.  We tell our police, those who will wage this war when it comes again to our shores, that they are too militaristic, too heavily armed, too prepared for combat.  There is a war going on, even here.  Many attacks you’ve never heard of, because they never happened.  They were thwarted by good men and women fighting the good fight.  Eventually, though, they will fail.  We will have our Beslan, our Westgate, our Charlie Hebdo.  When our police are engaging teams of terrorists armored and armed with heavy weapons, will you call for demilitarization then?  Will you still believe that because Barney Fife could lock up the fictional town drunk Otis carrying a single bullet and a wheel gun, a modern police officer should be able to handle any situation with the same? If we wait until the fight makes it here, then we have waited too long.  Our police should have everything they need, both training and equipment, for this threat at their disposal before it happens.  Now, I’m not calling for police to show up on every domestic complaint in full kit with a M4 slung across their chest, but those items should be available in the event they are needed.  And, unfortunately, they will be needed.  It’s only a matter of time.

36 thoughts on “Furious

    1. It can, and does, happen here. It just doesn’t look like this. We have a watered down version of a military state where freedom is the badge we wear and LEO’s and related professionals work to keep the chaos in check. Citizens shootings citizens, citizens shooting LEO’s and vice versa. The fundamental difference that is being selectively being left out of the narrative is that our LEO’s keep their weapons holstered until there is a threat vs. using the weapon as a threat. Ahmed Merabet is Ramos and Liu and the fact that Merabet’s executioners wore high profile tactical gear does not make them different than Ismaaiyl Brinsley. This is the same war that extreme, left wing fundamentalist thinking generates in people.

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  1. You are so right…I get so mad when people talk about the Police being “over” armed…because when something happens they will be the first to say why weren’t they ready!! Stay safe and fight the badguys
    …we still believe in you. Wife of LEO, KS

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  2. He was a Arab by birth as well . Just for those of you that do not know .
    I do know his name but until it is released correctly and publicly I ain’t posting it .
    Shocking execution of all Today .
    R.I.P

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      1. Goes to show that people shouldn’t make assumptions before they know ALL the facts. I saw some nasty comments in French on the French police page calling for the death of ALL Arabs and such.
        The more people keep drawing lines and separating ourselves from the fact that we are ALL human and some are just evil asshole pos no matter what race, religion or group we each belong to, the more issues and hate will continue to affect our world.
        So sad.

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  3. As a LEO, father, and husband I fight for those who can’t or won’t. I agree with you completely and only wish the culture that is emerging would only realize that they will need good men and women to stand against evil men, evil morals, evil ideals, and evil cultures.

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    1. Exactly Chris!

      I have friends that are LEO’s, I constantly worry about them……They are good men and women, God bless them all!! Certainly is a calling….Thank you!

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  4. I am an LEO. For my short career I have been baptised in the merciless world of public criticism. I have fought friends and family over issues relating to public saftey and security.

    As a community, LE has learned hard lessons. But we learn and adapt. We prepare for the worst and that has led to negative public views. We don’t invite the public to horrific murder scenes, give the graphic details of child sexual assaults or delve into the deep rooted reaches of terrorism and organized crime. We bear that burden so society doesn’t have to.

    But all to familiar is the saying, freedom isn’t free. Our brother in blue has fallen a hero. He walked onto a battlefield with all he had, he did what he could and he fell doing what he was born to do, stare evil in the face and say “I am not afraid to stand against you!”

    I too mourn a brother I never knew. May God bless his soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very powerful. When I hear people say officers are militarized or unnecessarily armed, it makes me want to grab them and shake them until their teeth rattle. Have they forgotten the bank robbers in body armor? How have they managed to remove the images of Newtown from their subconscious? Rose colored glasses only make the world look good until reality shatters them.

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  6. Even though this is extremely well written, it was equally as hard to read.

    “He was murdered, executed really, because he represented qualities that the enemy cannot understand. Qualities like civility, mercy, equality, and order. He possessed a depth of character that showed bravery, courage, and selflessness. He represented all the enemy hates about Western society. He stood a symbol of democratic freedom, an enforcer of laws chosen by the men and women that those laws govern. He wasn’t murdered for who he was. He was killed for so much more than that. He was killed for what he represented. ”

    It was difficult to read because this feels as if it is becoming a world wide epidemic against those who fight for goodness. Thank you for your words.

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  7. Thank you for posting this. I’m a civilian but revere all of you who stand on the wall to guard and protect us. I am deeply angry also, at the naivete of those who would weaken either the police or the military with nonsense rules of engagement and second-guessing a situation about which they know nothing. I am tired of those who always side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. God bless all law enforcement officers.

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  8. Good article.
    I’m not a policeman but I support them entirely.
    What blows my mind is that people STILL have their heads in the clouds and find an excuse for this sort of atrocity.!!
    I’m sure their attitude will change if and WHEN something happens to someone they care about.
    I’m lucky and nobody I know has been hurt by a terror attack, unfortunately I’m expecting it at some point and I want our boys in blue, our protectors to have every possible tool at their disposal ..
    People must now wise up and stop being so flowery. If the cops turn up at your house with an Uzi in your face. So what. No drama if you’ve got nothing to hide !!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very well said. We have a son and a couple of family members that are police and so now we worry more (having another son in the military, we worry a lot.)

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  10. Just read another article about France and terrorism a CCW holder would have been better than gawking sheeple cell phone carriers. Such a shame.. Gun control kills it gives criminals or terrorist free rein to harm and kill disarmed victims.

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  11. My son is a police officer and has been one for 20+ years. I’m sure that when he joined the police dept. he would not have been able to rationalize the insanity that has prevailed against all our brothers in blue….I have tried many times to put myself in his shoes and try to imagine what he has to deal with on a daily basis …and then come home to his family and put all of what he had to deal with that day out of his mind…..I could go on and on….bottom line…..the time I spend on my knees has increased 20 fold for my son and all the men and women all across our beautiful country……these awesome people are our first line of defense…..may God bless and protect them always and my deepest sympathy to the family of our fallen brother in blue in Paris, France!!👮

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  12. Mr Chris:

    I firstly would like to thank you for your service to your community, and your input on this horrendous event. While I agree that there are parallels with policing and the terrorism acts that occurred yesterday, I feel that your anger and call for more arms are displaced. I will explain myself in two brief points and ask that you read them understanding that I only am looking to offer a broader perspective to your account.

    1. This was an attack on free speech, not on policemen and women. The target of the attack were satirist, and they were targets for their beliefs. Police have been vilified recently in the US (which I believe is sickening), but they were not the people that were targeted. They were victims, just as the editor, writers, and other 10 victims were, but to claim that they were the targets soley is not fair.

    2. More guns means that things would have turned out differently. I hear this argument day in and day out and disagree. As a gun owner, I believe that it is important to protect yourself and for policemen to have proper tools to protect society. The reality of every policeman in the world having access to this level of militarization that you implore for is not one that would improve security. The fact is that these men had bullet proof vest, had planned the attack with an understanding of staff levels and knowledge of the amount of resistance that they would have to defend against.

    The premise that properly arming them would have stopped this is hard to prove. If you have been to Paris, there are men with AK-47’s and other high power weapons that are openly displayed in places throughout the city. They are in subway stations, major landmarks, and other unannounced locations daily. The truth is, in this world, if a person is intent on doing damage to someone else , and has the element of surprise, no amount of militarization could stop this.

    Finally, I am sure that I will get plenty of negative responses for disagreeing with your strong opinion, but I ask that all read this take a second and realize that this is what makes our country, our western values, so envious to the world. We are allowed to have our own opinions and challenge each others with the understanding that we will not die. That is what this discussion should be about.

    Respectfully,

    David

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    1. David,

      Thank you for an intelligent reply. Too often people on different sides of an issue are so passionate that they cannot engage in civil discourse. I welcome the conversation, friend. Allow me to start out by saying that the article I wrote above is not about the terror attack in general, but specifically about the video of Ahmed Merabet’s execution and the reaction to it. I wrote it while I was angry, and honestly, I didn’t give enough attention to the other victims of the attack, including the other murdered officer. My intent was never to examine the attack in its entirety, which may have been obscured as I began to speak generally on the topic of terror attacks near the end. While well-received, the article itself isn’t structured very well. For that I apologize.

      In regards to the attack itself, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Mr. Merabet was a target of opportunity rather than an operational goal. Like you wrote, this attack was a well orchestrated attack on free speech, designed to intimidate and disrupt this tenant of Western civilization. The murder of the ten satirists is every bit as tragic and evil as the death of Ahmed. I mean absolutely no disrespect to them, their families, or the sacrifice they made yesterday. Your criticism of my lack of acknowledgement of this is fair and understandable.

      I do believe that more guns in the hands of police could have, not necessarily would have, affected the outcome of this attack. Had Merabet been properly armed and trained, he could have effectively held off his attackers from a position of cover long enough for the cavalry to arrive. He likely needed no more that five minutes, and one man can hold off three for that long with proper training. Of course, as I write this, I am operating at a disadvantage. I have no knowledge of Parisian police tactics, but it is my understanding that bicycle officers, a group to which Ahmed belonged, are typically unarmed. It has been reported that as many as three unarmed officers were forced to flee the attack because they lacked the means to intervene. My opinion, based on years of law enforcement experience, is that four armed officers added to the fight, even if they only had handguns, would have increased the difficulty of the operation for the terrorists exponentially.

      I make no claim that a properly armed and equipped police force will stop attacks such as this from happening, only that having such options will allow police to better intervene once such a situation has begun. It is completely unreasonable to expect to have a plan for eventualities or to cover all potential targets with an appropriate force to meet any resistance. It is possible, however, to have a well-trained and adequate force to be ready to quickly respond to and handle such awful situations.

      In closing, my position is one of preparation. I have no desire to see officers routinely wearing heavy armor and kevlar helmets, nor do I wish to see them on daily patrol with an M4 carbine. I do, however, believe that those items should be available to quick reaction teams, SWAT teams, and other specialized forces who are properly trained to deal with combat trained attackers. I also believe that long guns are a must for every patrol car, as they can defeat all but the best body armor and are much more accurate in a firefight. Handguns are defensive weapons. Why ask police to go on the offensive against a better armed and trained attacker? After all, if and when these assault style terrorist attacks come here, those will be the men and women tasked with eliminating those threats.

      Respectfully,

      Chris

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    2. David,

      Thank you for an intelligent reply. Too often people on different sides of an issue are so passionate that they cannot engage in civil discourse. I welcome the conversation, friend. Allow me to start out by saying that the article I wrote above is not about the terror attack in general, but specifically about the video of Ahmed Merabet’s execution and the reaction to it. I wrote it while I was angry, and honestly, I didn’t give enough attention to the other victims of the attack, including the other murdered officer. My intent was never to examine the attack in its entirety, which may have been obscured as I began to speak generally on the topic of terror attacks near the end. While well-received, the article itself isn’t structured very well. For that I apologize.

      In regards to the attack itself, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Mr. Merabet was a target of opportunity rather than an operational goal. Like you wrote, this attack was a well orchestrated attack on free speech, designed to intimidate and disrupt this tenant of Western civilization. The murder of the ten satirists is every bit as tragic and evil as the death of Ahmed. I mean absolutely no disrespect to them, their families, or the sacrifice they made yesterday. Your criticism of my lack of acknowledgement of this is fair and understandable.

      I do believe that more guns in the hands of police could have, not necessarily would have, affected the outcome of this attack. Had Merabet been properly armed and trained, he could have effectively held off his attackers from a position of cover long enough for the cavalry to arrive. He likely needed no more that five minutes, and one man can hold off three for that long with proper training. Of course, as I write this, I am operating at a disadvantage. I have no knowledge of Parisian police tactics, but it is my understanding that bicycle officers, a group to which Ahmed belonged, are typically unarmed. It has been reported that as many as three unarmed officers were forced to flee the attack because they lacked the means to intervene. My opinion, based on years of law enforcement experience, is that four armed officers added to the fight, even if they only had handguns, would have increased the difficulty of the operation for the terrorists exponentially.

      I make no claim that a properly armed and equipped police force will stop attacks such as this from happening, only that having such options will allow police to better intervene once such a situation has begun. It is completely unreasonable to expect to have a plan for eventualities or to cover all potential targets with an appropriate force to meet any resistance. It is possible, however, to have a well-trained and adequate force to be ready to quickly respond to and handle such awful situations.

      In closing, my position is one of preparation. I have no desire to see officers routinely wearing heavy armor and kevlar helmets, nor do I wish to see them on daily patrol with an M4 carbine. I do, however, believe that those items should be available to quick reaction teams, SWAT teams, and other specialized forces who are properly trained to deal with combat trained attackers. I also believe that long guns are a must for every patrol car, as they can defeat all but the best body armor and are much more accurate in a firefight. Handguns are defensive weapons. Why ask police to go on the offensive against a better armed and trained attacker? After all, if and when these assault style terrorist attacks come here, those will be the men and women tasked with eliminating those threats.

      Respectfully,

      Chris

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  13. I agree with the majority of your viewpoint, Chris, but for a couple of minor details. I fully concur that police DO need “heavy weapons” available, though I don’t think they should be quite as in-your-face as they have become. I personally think the move away from the traditional uniform has greatly damaged the public image of law enforcement. It is possible to have a rifle within arm’s reach while still being dressed like a peace officer rather than a soldier. “Tactical” uniform doesn’t make you any faster, stronger, or more bullet-proof. And even a class III vest is concealable with a bit of forethought. I often feel the aggressive look affects the way many officers view themselves and their job, and usually not in a positive way.

    Secondly, I have to disagree that the police will be the “front line” in the troubles we are about to encounter. The police will, in the majority of cases, in fact be the SECOND line. Policing is, with the exception of those instances where intel leads to interdiction before a crime is actually committed, essentially reactive in nature. (And in those cases, interdiction is usually handles by highly specialized and equipped tactical units, to which none of what we are discussing here really applies.) Police cannot respond until the event actually transpires. By then, it is often too late. The officers in Paris arrived just in time to encounter the terrorists LEAVING the scene, 12 murders already committed. If there is any quasi-official uniformed element who will, in fact, be the “front line”, it will be the private security sector… the undertrained, under-armed (too often UNarmed), grossly underpaid, and usually unappreciated Security Guards who daily do their best to protect the assets, personnel, and guests of almost every facility, public or private, that you can think of. Those are the people who will be the “front line” when the terrorists arrive at the door. And they are so laughably unprepared for that eventuality that it boggles the mind. The ridiculously competitive nature of the security industry, the unbelievable lack of awareness or concern of the management of the vast majority of potential target facilities, and the ludicrous political interference of police organizations in attempts to achieve more realistic regulations all conspire to ensure this will not change anytime soon. As a result, MANY security personnel are going to share the fate of Gendarme Merabet and the other victims at Charlie Hebdo, their mere uniformed presence making them priority targets for attackers. (There has been no public mention of whether there was a private security presence at Charlie Hebdo, but given their previous history and the number of threats they routinely received, I would assume they probably had security on site, and would be unsurprised to discover that one or more of the victims were present in that capacity…)

    Well written piece, Chris. Keep up the good work.

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  14. Well written. I feel your anger and frustration. I am English and a retired London police officer of 25 years service now living in rural France. What has happened here has sickened every law abiding person. The following are the words of Police officer Philippe Brinsolaro who paid tribute to his brother, Franck, one of the victims of the shootings, who was the police officer guarding the magazine’s editor: “My thoughts are with my brother of course, with all of my family. Now it’s up to us to be strong. But if there’s one thing which is remarkable, it’s the sense that the police are sometimes misunderstood by the public. But we mustn’t forget that what happened yesterday, whatever may happen next, a police officer, whenever it’s needed will put him or herself in harm’s way when the security of the country is at stake. And today I want to pay tribute to all of my colleagues, to all those who get up every day to do a difficult job.”

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  15. Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant. Your piece is so on point and informative. I only wish that those who NEED to read it would read it. As a LEO for nearly 48 years, I have experienced many societal and cultural changes. We had our challenges, but nothing like what my young brothers and sister are experiencing today. I can no longer walk, run or ride with you physically. However, trust that I am with you every step of the way spiritually. God Speed and keep you safe. Make it home every day.

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  16. The scope of protection from the Police has grown so drastically in these times, there is no such thing as being “over-armed”. With the weapons and tactics criminals are using today, Our Protectors need to be protected as well. If being “protected” means carrying around AK 47s, so be it. After all, isn’t that one of the guns a lot of gangs use? Not only that, it’s hard to tell now whether something is terrorism, gang-related or what. It seems to me that a lot of the time it runs together. We need to keep our eyes open for our Protectors as well and let them know if we see anything that would help them to be more advised as to what they would be dealing with. I wish there was more I could do to help our Police Officers be safe. I think it should be up to all of us to take care of one another. I hope that doesn’t sound “silly” on my part, but it bothers me that so many people take Police Officers for granted. It may be their occupation to “serve and protect”, but they go OVER AND BEYOND THAT, by risking their own lives to keep us safe and we should at least do what we can to help them protect us, such as not “adding to their problems” and staying alert as to what is going on around us and letting them know, just to name a couple. I am so thankful for our Police. I feel much safer when I know they are nearby and watching over me.

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